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Help ID violent burglar scared off by homeowner’s gunfire

The hunt is on for a violent burglary suspect Pierce County detectives say assaulted a woman while trying to break into her home.

They’ve released a sketch of the suspect.

The victim lives on 149th St. NW in Gig Harbor.

Detectives say she was walking out of her garage last month, when she was thrown to the ground, grabbed by her throat and punched in the face several times. But then — her attacker ran off — because detectives say she was able to arm herself with a pistol and fired a shot into the garage’s ceiling.

Detectives say he could be the same man the victim’s relative confronted outside the house several days earlier. “Somebody who has been in the area more than once, it leads us to believe he may be transient, especially if he’s on foot and not associated with any other vehicles,” said Pierce County Det. Ed Troyer. “We don’t have his identification, but she did a great job putting a sketch together of what he may look like. These are the dangerous type of people that are breaking into your house. When you break into a house at 5:30 in the afternoon and you’re confronted by a homeowner and then you choke the homeowner and you grab them by the head and assault them, that makes somebody a whole different level of thief, or burglar. In this particular case, we’re lucky the homeowner had a gun, fired a round up into the ceiling and the suspect fled. She could have just as easily shot him and been justified in doing so, but by firing a round it scared him off. So, if anybody’s seen this particular individual, we want a phone call, because we want to get him identified before somebody gets hurt.”

Detectives think the suspect is white, in his 60’s, heavy set, and about 6’1”.

He had a scraggly beard, glasses, dark graying hair, and reeked of cigarette smoke.

If you recognize him or know anything that can help identify and find this violent assault suspect, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477), or use the P3 Tips App on your smartphone.